Michigan’s Fruit Crop Threatened by the Notorious Stink Bug

Asian Stink Bug

Did you ever think that a harmless bug could endanger Michigan’s crop?

Hello and happy Friday! Here we are, about to enter into a holiday weekend. Do you plan to garden this weekend? The weather reports all week have been saying that we will enjoy temperatures around the 60s in the Detroit Metropolitan area. I couldn’t think of better gardening weather.

Have you ever seen stink bugs? They don’t bite or sting, but they put off an offensive smell that could have you wanting to be rid of them quickly. You and I are not the only ones wanting to get rid of these little stink bugs. Believe it or not, but this year they pose a huge threat to Michigan’s fruit crop. According to the USDA-NIFA SCRI Coordinated Agricultural Project:

The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is a voracious eater that damages fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops

Mid-Atlantic Crop Devastated in 2010

In 2010, this little bug caused major problems when it devastated the nation’s mid-Atlantic region’s crop. The Detroit Free Press reported,

There were hundreds of growers who had double-digit to 100 percent losses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey because they got caught flat-footed,” Grieshop said. “It has caused millions and millions of damage.”
Michigan’s Farms Prepare for the Invasion

This new threat has Michigan farmers on their guard. The Free Press states,

“The invasive Asian bug was found last year in Wayne, Oakland and 10 other Michigan counties, two years after it first was spotted in Berrien County.”

One farmer, Paul Blake, stated that he has assembled a certified team that performs weekly checks on his 700 acre crop of apples, peaches, strawberries and cherries. While he has yet to see these stink bugs on his farm, he is ready.

The stink of the bugs are described as “a combination of cilantro and sweat socks.”

Have you seen these bugs yet? Is your garden prepared for this invasion?

For further information on how to combat the brown marmorated stink bug, please see: Managing BMSB.

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